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Northview Church Looks to the Future in HD

Indiana's Northview Church recently set out to launch four new satellite campuses within five years. Construction wise, this is an ambitious goal. Add a massive AV installation to the equation, with the ultimate goal of having an entirely HD operation, and it is an undertaking of biblical proportions.

It all started in 2006, when Northview built its first satellite campus nearly 65 miles away in West Lafayette. The church's main campus, located just outside of Indianapolis in Carmel,  then built a new auditorium in 2010 to meet the needs of the continuously growing congregation. Now in 2012, the church has doubled in size and is looking towards satellite campuses to accommodate further growth. The plan is to erect four additional locations, all within 25 miles of the main campus.

Northview's Technical Director, Shaun Miller, oversees the church's AV needs, equipment, and a large team of volunteers. When Northview installed an HD video system in the first satellite location, it was up to Shaun and the rest of his team to upgrade the video control room at the main campus in Carmel.


Between the two sites, Northview now has a Blackmagic Design Broadcast Videohub, Smart Control, ATEM 1 M/E Production Switcher and ATEM 1 M/E Broadcast Panel, seven SmartView Duo monitors, 11 HyperDeck Studio SSD recorders, four DeckLink HD Extreme 3D capture and playback cards and a whole slew of Mini Converters. And because of the flexibility, affordability and quality of the Blackmagic Design products, Shaun plans to acquire many more as the church continues to grow.

All in a Weekend's Work
Every Saturday, Shaun and his team use six HD cameras, four mobile and two mounted on tripods, as well as one robotic head to film the Carmel sermon being given at the first of the weekend's three services. All cameras are plugged into the Broadcast Videohub in the main control room, alongside multiple SmartView Duos, which the staff uses to monitor the live footage, and HyperDeck Studios, recording the sermon for backup purposes and transfer to West Lafayette.

This may seem overcautious, but Shaun explained, "We're all human, and most members of my team are volunteers. The combination of these particular products means we can afford to be safe, not sorry, and ensures we are continuously recording exactly what we need."

Northview invested in the Broadcast Videohub for a similar reason. While all of its 72 inputs and 144 outputs may not be filled at the moment, the church selected this particular router to accommodate growth. Shaun also added Smart Control to set macros and manage all current inputs with a single button press. He has a Mac Mini at each campus for router control as well.

With the main control room located in the basement of the Carmel campus, underneath the stage, software based equipment was a necessity for Shaun and his team. "Having the ability to control the Broadcast Videohub and all of its inputs and outputs remotely, as well as tap into our satellite campus' video system, gave us the flexibility we always dreamed of," he said. "This saves us from having to disturb a service, and even better, eliminates the need for an emergency 130 mile round trip drive."

From Carmel to West Lafayette
Shaun's team uses two DeckLink HD Extreme 3D cards for video capture, while another is installed in Northview's graphics computer that pumps out lyrics to projectors, equipped with Mini Converters HD-SDI, for display on a number of the church's screens. The fourth DeckLink HD Extreme 3D is in the main campus' in house recording studio, where it is used in conjunction with Blackmagic Design Media Express software to remix audio from the service and add video for playback through the monitor, enabling simultaneous recording without dropping a frame.

The Carmel sermon is digitally transmitted overnight to the West Lafayette campus for playback. "We have backups for our backups," Shaun says, referring to the multiple files that get sent to the satellite campus. He goes on to explain that in addition to an HD video file sent via the internet, they also hand deliver multiple hard drives. If the computer playback system was to fail, the West Lafayette team is prepared to pop SSD's with the Avid DNxHD encoded files into two HyperDeck Studios for playback. A Blu-ray disc is also sent as a last resort.

The West Lafayette campus uses an ATEM 1 M/E Production Switcher and ATEM 1 M/E Broadcast Panel to bring all the various video devices to the screen. The switcher packs four SDI inputs, four HDMI inputs and an analog input, with SDI, HDMI and analog outputs into a compact two rack units, perfect for the remote setup and Northview's growing equipment list. With the ATEM 1 M/E Broadcast Panel, the AV team in West Lafayette have full control of the switcher, including keyers, graphics, faders and stinger and DVE transitions.

Northview's setup is more than capable of handling current AV needs in addition to those of the four satellite campuses planned for its future. The church's main campus is so sophisticated, that it doubles as a venue for live events. Shaun explained, "Being one of the largest auditoriums in the area, the Carmel campus gets used for traveling concerts all the time. This level of interest in the site is nice validation that our infrastructure can handle anything."

"We knew that we wanted technological growth to accompany the physical expansion of Northview Church, and we could not be happier with our progress," he continued. "Blackmagic's flexible and affordable offerings were the best, and really the only, choice for us. They made a massive HD AV installation possible, without having to compromise quality."

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Keywords:Blackmagic Design, Northview Church, Audio/Visual, Broadcast Videohub, ATEM 1 M/E Production Switcher, SmartView Duo, HyperDeck Studio, DeckLink HD Extreme 3D
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  • Northview Church Looks to the Future in HD by DMN Editorial at Sep. 15, 2012 5:55 pm gmt

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